Monday, June 28, 2010

Farming God’s Way

One of the projects Karl has been involved in at the Timothy Centre is sustainable farming.  The model he is using is a method of conservation farming developed in Zimbabwe over 25 years ago called Farming God’s Way.  FGW uses biblical principles for agriculture and living, an applies them to farming.
Based on 25 years of experience, expected yields from this method of farming are up to 10 times higher than traditional methods.  For example, a local farmer in Uganda can expect a yield of 3-6 bags of maize on an acre of land using traditional methods.  Using Farming God’s Way methods, expected yields will be between 30 and 60 bags of maize.
Karl has been farming this way for three seasons now.  Below is a photo gallery of this seasons crop.
Rows and holes are being prepared for planting beans and maize


Fertilizer is being added to the planting stations


Beans are planted in rows


Maize is planted in the holing stations

A blanket of mulch is added to the garden
About 10 days later, the first signs of life appear


A few weeks later
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Fast Forward to June 2010
P1030216A bountiful bean and maize crop
Madrasa and Kibaale Nursery 294
In July and August Karl will begin training sessions for the community in Masaka and Rakai districts

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Laying the Foundations

We are involved in two projects sponsored by Pacific Academy Outreach Society here in Uganda, the Timothy Centre where we live (near Masaka town) and Kibaale Community Schools (in Rakai District). The projects are about an hour apart, so it is feasible for Arleen to travel back and forth each week, spending 2 days in Kibaale helping with teacher development and chairing the Education Committee.
While the physical foundations are being laid for the construction of the buildings at the Timothy Centre the educational foundations in lives of the students in the Kibaale Community Schools continue to be  laid.
Many students have come through these schools since 1993. 2006-March-b 001
One of them, Kawungu Peter, is now doing his practice teaching at another school in the district. He is finishing his university training to become a secondary teacher and wants to help other needy children to receive a quality Christian education.
As I spent time observing and evaluating one of our nursery class teachers this week, as part of our on-going teacher improvement program, I was pleased to see strong educational foundations being laid in the lives of many more young children, many of whom will hopefully follow in Kawungu’s footsteps and go on to be leaders in society who can make a positive difference. There is a big difference in the classes in Kibaale now compared to when we began in 1993 with 3 books, a box of chalk and a kindergarten class under a tree! God has been faithful.
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Friday, June 25, 2010

Construction Update at the Timothy Girls College

Administration building for the new Timothy Girls College.  The college is due to open in February 2011.

New dormitory blocks

Classroom blocks

Foundations for the kitchen/dinning facility
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Training Centre Update

Construction on the new training centre is progressing rapidly. Trusses are presently being installed, and the roofing should be complete by next week.

We have already scheduled several workshops that will benefit the community beginning with a beekeeping workshop July 5th-10th. This project was made possible with funds received through the US Embassy in Kampala.
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Professional development of our teachers in Kibaale Community Schools has always been a priority in our school programs. When we took our nursery and kindergarten teachers to Kampala city to learn some knew skills at an early childhood resource centre, they learned more than how to make teaching aids from local materials. Teachers not only came back with a class 'big book' that they made from scratch, they also learned the value of working together as a team.

Creativity and confidence grows as they help each other make the materials they need for their classes. We have developed many of our own resources in the past as well, making charts, books, games and toys out of banana fibre, plastic grain sacks, paper mache, empty boxes and water bottles. Nothing is wasted in our teacher workroom!
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Monday, June 14, 2010


One is often very struck by the bright, beautiful faces of the children here in Uganda. When I was with our Kibaale Community Nursery teachers at an early childhood education resource centre last week, however, I was reminded of the conditions that so many children live in and the extreme challenges they face.  The posters around the room speak for themselves.

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Please pray for us as we work with the nearly 800 children in Kibaale Community Schools, and pray for the children that they would know the love and protection of God in their lives.  At the Timothy Centre, we are also developing Christian teacher training programs to help teachers learn how to integrate a biblical worldview that gives children dignity and hope in God.


Monday, June 7, 2010

African Love Potion

This is an amazing couple we met while we were visiting the work of Foundation for Cross-cultural Education Training College in Zambia a couple of weeks ago.

John and Sipatra have had an amazing impact in their village in Zambia. In a village where families are disintegrating at an alarming rate, their neighbours are noticing something very different about their marriage and family. John plays with his children and spends time at home with his wife enjoying a love and friendship that is rare in the community culture. Three ladies visited Sipatra one day recently to ask her for the ingredients she uses in her “love potion”. From watching this family, they concluded that Sipatra must have a secret potion that she gives to John! Sipatra told them to come back the next day and she would have some to give them. Later that day she told John about their visit and so the next day when the three ladies returned, Siptra welcomed them in and told them she would go into the back room and get the potion for them. They were amazed to see John come out of the room, who then began to share with them how they lived by the biblical principles of honoring, loving and submitting to each other…and this was their “secret love potion”.
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Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kindred Spirits in Zambia


We recently spent a few days in Zambia visiting the Foundation for Cross-cultural Education Training College in a rural outside the city of Ndola. When we were on a Christian schools tour in South Africa in 2008 we heard about FCE from a teacher we met in one of the schools. Chris stood out to us as a very well trained teacher with an unusual understanding of teaching from a Christian perspective. He told us he had received his training from FCE and so for some time we planned to visit there and see what we could learn from them to help us in our teacher training programs at the Timothy Centre. P1020748

We were not disappointed! It was an amazing visit and turned out to be not only very helpful in terms of ideas and resources for teacher training, but also for the community development work that Karl is involved in. We were able to sit in on a couple of the teacher training classes and were very impressed with their heart for Christ-centred teaching and their excellent quality of the work the teachers in training were producing.



One day we toured the farm where they are using “Farming God’s Way” methods with great results (the same conservation farming method Karl is experimenting with on his demonstration plots here at the Timothy Centre.


They also have a model primary school in one of the nearby villages and...lo, and behold... we found a volunteer from Edmonton in one of the classes!



We also spent a day visiting three of their community workers who live in surrounding villages and each day model Christian principles of family life, godly work ethic, and trust in God in the midst of communities steeped in fear and witchcraft.


At the end of our trip we spent a relaxing afternoon and evening at Nsobi Game Camp, a small private reserve not far away. We were able to walk the trails in search of eland, kudu, dik-dik and bushbuck and sat in the grass watching five giraffes feeding close up. A great end to a great trip!


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